They say that life is cyclical. As a child, you’re nurtured and cared for and getting into the movies is cheaper. As a senior citizen, you’re given much the same treatment. It’s an inevitable fact that we all will age and, many of us, will live to the age which gets us discounts and social security cheques.
And with age, you will be forced to make alterations in your diet. Issues such as diabetes, as Wilford Brimley has made clear, are frequent. Meals tend to get smaller. Nutrition becomes a key factor in your meal plans. The USDA Myplate program was designed specifically to ensure meals meet the nutritional requirements that become necessary to live a healthy, long life.
Just because you’re getting older, though, doesn’t mean the food you eat can’t have a little zest to it. Below are eleven nutritious and healthy snacks for seniors. Not only will these help your diet, but having 2-3 snacks a day can also be a social event, particularly when you reside inside a retirement home. You’ll be keeping healthy physicially, while also meeting the very human need for social interaction!
1. Baked Apple Chips Sprinkled with Cinnamon
Fruits and vegetables – particularly those loaded with vitamins B and D – are especially important. This simple and delightful snack can replace unhealthy potato chips easy, and they’re rich in Vitamin C. The cinanamon, apart from being delicious, is loaded with magnesium and calcium which can help combat osteoperosis.
2. High Fiber Cereal
As you get older, mobility may become an issue. That’s why it’s extremely important to have plenty of fiber in your diet, which should be included in the healthy snacks for seniors. Having some fiber-rich cereal in milk will also help you meet your calcium requirements.
In addition to a lack of mobility, the elderly often lose their sense of thirst, which can easily lead to dehydration. As previously mentioned, milk is important, but tea, decaffinated coffee, apple and orange juice are great examples of ways to keep hydrated.
4. Pudding, Oatmeal or Jello
The elderly often develop dental problems, making it difficult to chew tough meat that in your youth was easy. Pudding, Oatmeal or a Jello desert is always a welcome, easy-to-eat snack. To ensure your oatmeal isn’t boring, sprinkling in some blueberries and a little maple syrup will add flavour.
5. Smoothie or Milkshake with Fruits
Smoothies are great for any age, revitalizing energy and synthesizing full meals in a delicious drink. The mixture of milk, yogurt and your favourite fruit all in one is an easily digestible way to start the morning.
6. Baked Banana Chips
Much like apple chips, these baked delights are perfect for a small social gathering or bridge game. These healthy snacks for seniors are also rich in potassium, making them a great choice for the elderly.
7. Greek Yogurt Parfait
This is an easy to make treat, sure to impress guests or just to enjoy yourself. Simply mix 3 cups of yogurt and a teaspoon of vanilla extract, then fill four small parfait glasses with the mixture. From there, cover each with half a teaspoon of honey, five clementine sections and half a teaspoon of pistachios. Repeat this process, adding another layer. It’s a quick, uncomplicated meal loaded with the proteins necessary for the elderly.
8. Immune-Boost Soup
For those with problems chewing, you’ll find soup to be a great alternative. This simple recipe, as the name suggests, will help keep your immune system strong. It consists of onion, mushrooms, escarole or kale, white or lima beans, chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarians), and a little salt and pepper. It’s crucial to make sure the beans have a low sodium content, but otherwise it’s a great way to mix up a boring tomato, chicken or vegetable soup.
9. “Just Veggies” Soup
Even more perfect for vegetarians, this broth-based soup is simply a mix of your favourite frozen vegetable medley and some onion. This is probably the easiest soup recipe you’ll find, but when you’re in a hurry to cook something up, you’ll appreciate the simplicity.
10. Pumpkin Soup
No one can rightly claim that Halloween is just for kids. And though you may not be able to eat the candy you hand out to youngsters ringing your bell, this easy-to-make blend of onion, pumpkin, white beans and thyme is perfect for the Halloween season.
11. Easy Eggplant Stir Fry
Stir fry is one of the easiest meals that one can prepare with a pan and some olive oil, but olive oil can be fattening. Instead, substitute it with low fat Italian Salad dressing and toss some eggplant, zuchinni, bell peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes and brown rice. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to meet your nutritional requirements without just taking pills and supplements. Some of the recipes you’ll find a little more complex than others, but putting in the time and effort will make a retiree feel purposeful and accomplished. While it’s crucial to ensure you’re eating well, it’s equally important to make sure you’re living well also.